Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/15/14
The Oakland Athletics have exercised their $4.5 million contract option for closer Grant Balfour, while the AL West champions have declined their half of a $10 million mutual option for shortstop Stephen Drew. Drew receives a $1.35 million buyout. Balfour would have been due a $350,000 buyout if the A's had turned down the option. General manager Billy Beane all but said when the season ended in a five-game division series loss to the Detroit Tigers this month that he would keep Balfour and do all he could to maintain the current roster. Drew, acquired in an August trade with Arizona, batted .250 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 39 games. Oakland had the lowest payroll in the major leagues at $59.5 million.
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